David Gonzalez “Jazz Mex” Meridian Records

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Take finger popping Jazz and stir in lush Latin Rhythm and what have you got? Nice stuff uh? Well, take that and add some tasty and creative arrangements and then the icing on the cake, a well seasoned, talented vocalist and you have some true musical magic. David Gonzalez is the creator of some true musical magic on his disc “Jazz Mex.” Born in San Francisco to 1st generation San Franciscans of Mexican Heritage, this exquisite vocalist along with his group of top notch musicians create some “Pan Dulce” for your ears. I say that because, growing up as kids we always thought of “Pan Dulce” (Mexican sweet bread) as being a treat. This CD of classic material is a definite treat for anyone that listens.

The CD starts off with a beautiful medley from the book of George Gershwin. “It ain’t necessarily so”starts off with a sassy Latin strut led by the horn section and flows with a nice cha-cha feel. The tune then takes a on a different feel with “There’s a boat that’s leavin soon for New York.” Pure genius! This Gershwin classic sways in a classy Jazz setting. “All the things you are” & “Yesterdays” both from the book of that master duo of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, both take on a fine new form with melodic groove from the horns and rhythm section.

David’s absolute gorgeous vocals bring these tunes some Latin swing!Very reminiscent of the way Latin Jazz master Cal Tjader’s early releases on Fantasy brought out the swing in those tunes. Remember those red vinyl albums? The CD also features an absolute beautiful rendition of Mark Levine’s Latin Jazz staple tune “Linda Chicana.” Besides the fact that this tune is this writer’s favorite Latin Jazz number, David’s lyrics add a touch of brilliance to this timeless tune. This version is destined to become a much sought after recording and alone is worth the price of admission. A ìright onî conga solo compliments this smooth Cha-Cha by Mr. Michael Spiro. This diverse and sophisticated CD also features some delicious ballads.

“Once I loved” by the talented Ray Gilbert allows you to close your eyes and drift into a wonderful daydream as David’s vocals capture you. Another recognizable tune is the Flip Nunez “Love Not Then” that was most notably recorded by the powerhouse Latin Jazz/Latin rock bay area band of the 70’s Azteca. The bay area has a rich music tradition and has long been known for turning out the tastiest Latin Jazz around. Don’t believe me?

Then check these names out; Benny Velarde, Carlos Federico,Cal Tjader, (The Escovedo’s Pete, Coke and Sheila E), Mark Levine, Wayne Wallace shall I go on? Or are you convinced? Well one thing is for sure, David Gonzalez’s “JazzMex” solidifies my opinion. A swinging band of accomplished, respected musicians along with a creative lyricist/vocalist. Yeah I would add him to that list! Did I awaken your appetite for some musical “Pan Dulce?”

A review by:
Erik “Chico” Manqueros
Host & Producer
The Latin Style of Jazz ñ Radio Show
& Contributing Writer
Latin Style Magazine and Latinjazzclub.com

 

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Discos.(TT: LATIN BEAT REVIEWS.)(Reseña)

Latin Beat Magazine
November 1, 2000 | Tamargo, LuisVarela, JesseGonzalez, ElmerMangual, RudyRivera Gil | Copyright

DAVID GONZALEZ

Jazz Mex

(Meridian)

This talented vocalist is a San Francisco native who first got turned on to jazz music as a teen in the late 1950s attending The Blackhawk in North Beach. The nightclub had an underage section that was away from the drinking patrons and the spot of legendary performances by Miles Davis, Cal Tjader with Mongo Santamaría, Willie Bobo, Shelly Manne, and many others. It inspired many youngsters to cross the line from patrons to players. David González was right there and it motivated him to get into jazz vocals. Along the way he has worked with the Escovedo Brothers Band, the Duran Brothers and the late Flip Nuñez. Jazz Mex (Meridian) is his second album to date and features Al Bent (trombone) and Al Molina (trumpet) on the self-produced effort. Transforming jazz standards into Latin vehicles, he swings tunes like Roll ‘Em Pedro (Joe Turner’s Roll ‘Era Pete) with a guajira beat, as well as cool Afro-Cuban and Brazilian grooves accented nicely by percussionist Michael Spiro on the tunes Once I Loved, All The Things You Are and Linda Chicana, With arrangements by Bent, this is a classy effort by a classy performer who struts his Chicano roots in a superb jazz framework. Info: (415)587-0433. (JV)

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